It’s time for another installment of the Indian Cooking Challenge! And this month the authentic recipe I bumble my way through is the traditional Maharastrian Pudachi Wadi (aka Coriander Rolls). Now, for those who don’t know, in the United States coriander refers to the seeds (whole or ground) of the plant we call–in it’s leafy state–cilantro. Since we’re using the leaves, they’d be called Cilantro Rolls in our neck of the woods.
For many years I was not a huge fan of cilantro, and I’m not alone. The flavor was too pronounced, almost soapy in some instances and really was not my cup of tea. But the more worldly one eats, the more one is likely to encounter different flavors and, in time, I became more tolerant of the herb.
Good thing, too! Because these rolls are delicious and it would have been a shame to miss out on them if I’d never been willing to try cilantro again.
from Archana of Tried & Tested Recipes
1 cup Gram Flour
3 tsp Oil
3 Tbsp Shredded Coconut
1.5 Tbsp Poppy Seeds
1.5 Tbsp Sesame Seeds
1.5 Tnsp Oil
2 bunches Cilantro, chopped fine (approx. 2 cups)
Oil, for frying
This one takes a little time, mostly because of the different steps, but it’s worth a few hours on a weekend afternoon to give it a try. A large part of the time required goes into rolling and forming the dough. While it wouldn’t be quite the same, I’m betting the paste and filling would be fabulous inside regular spring roll wrappers and steamed or fried.
I did have to finagle one ingredient: the ginger-green chilli paste. I substituted equal amounts of minced ginger paste and green salsa. Having never had the original, I can’t say how close I came but it seemed a logical substitution. If we’d had any in the house, I probably would have used Recaito, as it’s cilantro-based.
|Make the dough.
Mix the dry dough ingredients together and then stir in the warm oil. Depending on things like your flour’s water content and the humidity in your kitchen, the amount of water you’ll need to add to the mixture to make a smooth dough will vary. Just mix it in a teaspoon or two at a time until the dough is firm.
|Make the paste.
Combine the oil, garam masala and tamarind concentrate into a smooth paste and set aside until it’s time to
|Make the filling.
Toast the coconut, poppy seeds and sesame seeds in a non-stick skillet until the coconut and sesame seeds are golden brown. Allow to cool.
|Meanwhile, saute the onions in the oil until tender.
Add the ginger-green chilli paste and garlic and saute briefly—just a few seconds–before removing from the heat to cool off a bit.
|Process the now-cool coconut, poppy and sesame seeds until coarse. Really all you’re doing is breaking up the coconut as the others are already pretty small to start with.
|Transfer the onion mixture to a bowl and add the ground and toasted mixture, the chopped cilantro and the rest of the ingredients for the filling. Mix well and season to taste with additional salt as needed.
|To Assemble the pastries:
Divide the dough into 16 even pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Roll each ball into a circle (about 3 inches wide).
|Brush a bit of the paste onto the center of the dough…
|Then place a spoonful of the filling mixture in the center.
|Fold the edges of the dough over the filling and press them together to make a tight seal. It may help to add a little water to the edges of the dough.Apparently these rolls can either be round tubes–like a traditional spring roll–or triangles. I did some of each just to see if it made a difference. For what it’s worth, the triangular ones seemed to have a better distribution of dough and filling per bite.
|Toast each roll or triangle lightly on a griddle. I almost skipped this step but am grateful I didn’t: the toasting firms us the dough so that they don’t fall apart so easily when you fry them. And electric griddle set on 250Ã‚Â° worked perfectly for this as I could put one on, roll the next and flip the first when the second was added.
|Deep fry the rolls just before serving. Frying goes quickly and, unlike a lot of fried foods, these do not float to the surface and bob around, they just sit there and cook so you need to turn them over after a few moments to keep them from getting too dark on any one side.
I think you’d also be safe making these up ahead of time through the toasting step and then refrigerating or even freezing them so you can fry as many as you need at any given time. Get a few people in the kitchen with you and bang out several batches at a go so you’re ready for anything. Because they don’t really hold all that great, we found, and reheating doesn’t do much for them once they’re fried.
I enjoyed participating in the monthly Indian Cooking Challenge so much that I created a monthly challenge of my own! For more details, check out the Medieval Cooking Challenge and sign up for the mailing list.